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  Calculate the rate of the Pacific Plate's motion in cm per year for the island sequence Kauai to Oahu. Can you show me the steps. Note that one kilometer is the same as 100,000 cm. Island Sequences Separation Distance Average Difference a. Kauai to Oahu 181 km 2,100,000 years  

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I assume that the data in your assumes it would take 2.1 x 10^6 years for the Pacific Plate to move the 181 km distance from Kauai to Oahu.  If so, then:

1 km = 100,000 cm = 10^5 cm

181 km = 18,100,000 cm = 1.81 x 10^7 cm

1.81 x 10^7 cm / 2.1 x 10^6 years = .8619 x 10^1

which rounds up to 8.62 cm / year.

 

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